The Top Cause of Infertility in Women
Polycystic Ovary Syndromn (PCOS) affects 20% of women, yet as many as 70% of women with PCOS will not be diagnosed until later in life. It is as mysterious as health issues come, without specific symptoms or a specific way to diagnose it.
- It may begin as early as in utero.
- It’s exact cuase is unknown.
- It is the top cause of infertility in women.
- It is connected to a host of other conditions, including heart disease, depression, cancer, and liver problems.
Do I have PCOS?
The symptoms for PCOS are varied, and most women with PCOS only have some of them. They include:
- High insulin
- High androgens
- Rogue hairs or hirsutism (increased hair growth where it doesn’t belong)
- Overweight, but some women with PCOS are not
- Difficulty loseing weight. This is because high insulin tells the body to store body fat and increases cravings for carbohydrates.
- Low-grade, chronic inflammation. This can be from diet or structural issues or from emotional issues.
- Ovaries with cysts in a pearl, like string in numbers from 10 to 100’s.
Two factors are huge in PCOS: high Insulin and excess androgens.
50 to 80 % of women with high insulin have PCOS.
82% of women with excess adnrogens have PCOS.
According to The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried, MD , “Not all women with excess androgens have PCOS, and not all women with PCOS have high androgens. While they do overlap, the difference is that PCOS is characterized by insulin resistance and ovarian cysts. Sadly, PCOS goes widely undetected.”
What are androgens? They are sex hormones: testosterone, DHEA, and Androstenedione. They have a masculine effect on the body. High androgens are connected to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is when your receptors to insulin require higher and higher amounts of insulin to allow glucose to enter cells as fuel. Then, insulin is less effective at lowering blood glucose because the cell receptors are numb because they have been bombarded with high levels of insulin for so long.
This requires increased insulin, which is bad because high insulin causes the ovaries to make excessive amounts of androgens. Then, insulin get the liver to make less sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which is the protein that binds testosterone.
Insulin is made in the pancreas. It causes the release of glucose from food in the gut. The food glucose is then released into the bloodstream and into the cells. Insulin is responsible for fat storage, so with excess insulin you deposit more fat, especially at the waist. Insulin resistance results in excess weight, obesity, prediabetes, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimers, stroke, and some cancers.
How to test for PCOS?
There is not a specific test for PCOS, so it can be difficult to diagnose. It can be confusing because testing for cysts is not a conslusive way to diagnose PCOS because not everywoman with PCOS has cyst.
One way to determine if you have PCOS is to test for insulin resistance. Measure levels of glucose and insulin after you’ve fasted for eight to twelve hours. Optimal range for blood glucose, after fasting is 70-86 mg/dL; insulin should be less than 7 mcU/mL. Use a glucose to insulin ration to determine if you are insulin resistant. A ratio of glucose:Insulin of less than 4.5 is abnormal. This is best done on day 21 of your cycle along with testing for the hormone leptin.
Chronic stress is the main cause of high androgens. Continual stress throws your adrneal glands into overdrive causing more cortisol to be released and increaseing the level of androgens.
Excess testosterone and estrogen blocks FSH so LH dominates and this causes women to not ovulate every month.
I also recommend testing your hormones through saliva or urine. You want to know what your androgens are in relation to your other hormones. 82% of women with excess androgens have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and need to be treated by addressing root cause not medication. Excess does not even mean you have too much of the hormone but means you have an inbalance in relation to other hormones, so a full hormone panel, preferably a saliva or urine test, is needed.
As you can see, this is a complicated condition. Despite what most people are told it is reversible. If you think you have any of the symptoms of PCOS or hormonal imbalance I would love to talk to you about how to heal your body and balance your hormones.
Be on the look out for my next blog Cure for PCOS
If you want to be tested for PCOS please make an appointment with me I offer the specific tests along with fertility coaching.
The Hormone Cure by Sara Gottfried, MD
A Mind of Your Own by Kelly Brogan, MD
Natural Fertility Info Website http://natural-fertility-info.com/pcos-fertility-diet
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